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4.1 out of 5 stars
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4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 1 May 2014
I am interested in how different people reacted to life behind the Wall and its eventual downfall. The interviewees on this DVD were extremely interesting to hear, as they represented a wide variety of backgrounds, political persuasions, and personalities, and they all had differing opinions and feelings about the reasons for the Wall, what they lost and what they gained from living under Communist rule, and how their expectations matched up to the reality when it finally came down and they were reunited with the West.
The news films and photos added a lot to this, and I was especially pleased to see a recording of the moment when the time of the lifting of travel restrictions was wrongly announced in November '89, leading to the immediate breaching of the border!
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on 12 February 2014
I use this in class with secondary school pupils to give them some idea of life in the former GDR. Very useful for this purpose. Best watched in short bursts, rather than all the way through in one go.
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on 29 July 2013
I enjoyed this film, which is a documentary on the events leading up to and the re-adjustment that was necessary after the fall of the Berlin wall. This event, which was inevitable given the events unfolding in the Soviet Union was sudden, and unexpected. It took everyone by surprise at the time. The disappointment with the actual history I feel is the fact that a disproportionate amount of the wall remnants are in the united states. Why is that? I will tell you - another example of the propoganda to do with the "failure" of communism. Let's make a big deal out of that. Meanwhile the ordinary citizen has to come to terms with a total change of outlook given the new situation - which is also dealt with to some extent by the film. I advise viewers to see this film before a trip to Berlin, and also recommend reading something about the denazification of Germany and the reasons for the allied carving up of the soverign country. The rest becomes a lesson in understanding how superpowers manipulate propaganda for their own self-serving purposes.
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on 7 January 2015
Recounting the lives of ordinary people from East Berlin: it gives a nuanced human perspective on communism, dictatorship and what happens when the system that ruled your life suddenly collapses, with the wall as a powerful metaphor. To me, the most poignant part of the film is the ex-police chief explaining his difficulties to adjust to post-DDR life. The most positive one being the foot soldier re-inventing himself into a photographer suddenly able of catching the multi-cultural and multi-coloured world, in contrast with his previously white/grey world.
Worth watching the 'bonus' DVD as well, particularly the part on the role of women in the DDR.
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on 24 October 2015
Great DVD across two discs. I love hearing the intimate stories of those who lived in the GDR behind the wall, and those who experienced its fall, and there is plenty to see and hear in this DVD. I particularly appreciated the balance of views presented here, from those who thought that life in the GDR was OK, to those who experienced practical and emotional difficulties as they adapted to life in the unified Germany, to those for whom the fall of the wall was a new lease of life.

On the second disc, there's an extra set of features, one of which is called "US Presidents and the Wall", which is one of the most excruciating examples of US self-aggrandizement that I've ever heard. It's so bad that I'd recommend everyone watch it, and it in no way affects my giving it five stars because, after all, we're all entitled to our views !

By that same token, I claim my right to roll around the floor clutching my sides - it's that bad (in my opinion).

Spoiler below - so don't read any further if you've not seen the DVD yet.

The extra talks about all the segments of the wall that are in US presidential museums and the proud-as-punch curators are explaining how important the presidents were to the fall of the wall. I offer some quotes :-

"Ronald Reagan went to the Brandenburg Gate and he told Mr Gorbachev to tear down the wall... and, as you can see, the wall came down and eventually... the fall of communism."

"The coming down of the wall actually came to be because of George Bush (ie. George H. W Bush)..." (because of his skills as a negotiator)

I'm sorry...!? What the hell world was this on ? Did Mikhail Gorbachev and small matters such as perestroika and glasnost not have a part to play ? Did not all the reformist party members in Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia and the GDR get the whole thing going in 1989 after promises from Gorbachev not to send in tanks if they did ?

Do these people seriously think that Gorbachev was inspired after being "told" by Reagan in one speech; do they really think he was charmed by the silver tongue of HW ? Get real !

That said, I admire hugely the standing firm of the US with NATO throughout the Cold War, and the driving role they played in the Berlin Airlift.

When it came to the events of 1989, the fall of the wall and everything that followed after though, I think the US, like the rest of the world, could only watch wide-eyed while Eastern Europe changed its own destiny...
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on 7 November 2013
Excellent. Bought it for use in school and it's very good. I think it's a great resource for the classroom
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on 5 November 2013
This film depicts an aspect of the tumbling of the Berlin wall with film not previously seen before in other such documentaries. Well worth a look!
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on 1 July 2016
I went to Berlin recently and was looking for a good documentary about the wall. This is a great one explaining by different people that lived this time and it's really informative. Loved it
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on 25 May 2015
The DVD arrived on time and in the condition started. Its a documentary about life behind the wall and how some people regretted its demise because of the security it gave.
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on 20 January 2015
Interesting to hear from the people who lived through this period of history.
I have many friends who lived in East Germany and I never tire hearing their stories.
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